I was asked to write this a while ago, and since it’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever written (I have absolutely no idea what it means, if anything), I thought I’d post it here. 🙂
In the cold, wet night, Claerice looked for the clues that would tell her who had killed her.
The murder scene was an abandoned parking lot. She couldn’t remember ever being here, and that was strange.
The open space, lit fitfully by the standing lamps, was about thirty feet by forty feet, and dust covered every surface, lying in a sixty-year old layer on the four remaining automobiles. There had been fourteen once, a couple of decades ago, but the most interesting models had been disassembled and removed for study.
Water dripped from cracks in the ceiling in such profusion that it seemed it was raining, and Claerice, 3-hours alive, felt as if she should be thankful to someone. She was experiencing rain when no-one on the surface had felt it or seen it or smelled it for sixty years.
“But I’m not the only one, aren’t I?” she asked, and the emptiness tumbled her words back at her.
Two hours later, Claerice relaxed into the warm, pre-prepared water and laid her head back against the bath-tub’s curved rim. Her skin, now only 5 hours old, tingled exquisitely.
Taking up the bar of rose-scented soap, she wondered when the voice would speak to her again. It had been there as her senses kicked into life, in the White Room. The agony of sound had made her pass out, but when she awoke, ten minutes later, it had been more bearable.
“You were murdered,” it said. Its voice was calm, without inflection or emotion. “You must find the killer. If you cannot, you will not rejoin society.”
And then nothing, not even after Claerice’s repeated attempts at getting it to respond. She had screamed her voice raw, and had spent another hour crying because of the pain. It didn’t take long to find the strength to stagger, and then walk, and then run. The voice helped her, told her where she was –the island of Manhattan- what she could eat, where clothes were and water. And then the lights had gone out, everywhere, and when they came on again, she was in the parking lot.
“This is where you were killed.”
Claerice returned to the parking lot –she did not know how, only that she thought of it, and was then there- and saw the person lying on the dust-covered, muddy-in-places floor. It was a girl, and as Claerice walked up to her, the girl’s eyes opened.
“Who are you?” the girl whispered.
“I am Claerice. Who are you?”
Confusion, and then the light of understanding lit. “I am Claerice.”
Claerice took a step backwards, frowning. “But you – “
“– are me!” finished the girl.
“We have to die.” Claerice realized this, knew it to be true. “One of us, at any rate.”
“Why?” asked the girl, eyes wide and tearful. “I’ve just woken up!”
“Because,” answered Claerice, drawing out the revolver she had found, had been given, “one must die, and the other must know why.”
She pointed the gun at herself and pulled the trigger.
Copyright Dave-Brendon de Burgh 2009